What SQL Server Performance & Management Tools Do I Use?

Several times I’ve been asked what tools are in my performance tuning and SQL Server management arsenal, so I decided to just create this blog to list them out for you. Keep in mind, these are ones I personally use. There are many more out there that the community uses. Feel free to comment with any you may use that is not on my list.

Community Tools (Free)


Ola Hallengren’s Maintenance Scripts- Index Maintenance, Integrity and Backup Scripts https://ola.hallengren.com/sql-server-index-and-statistics-maintenance.html


Glenn Berry’s Diagnostic Scripts -Various scripts based on DMVs to extract SQL Performance statistics and information  https://www.sqlskills.com/blogs/glenn/category/dmv-queries/


Adam Machanic sp_WhoIsActive See what is currently going on in SQL Server similar to sp_who2 http://whoisactive.com/


Dbatools– PowerShell modules https://dbatools.io/


Tiger Team Toolbox – Various Tools for diving into SQL performance via Github https://github.com/microsoft/tigertoolbox


PSSDiag – is a general-purpose diagnostic collection utility that Microsoft Product Support Services uses to collect various logs and data files https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/830232/pssdiag-data-collection-utility


SQL Nexus– Used to analyze PSSDiag results https://github.com/Microsoft/SqlNexus/wiki/Installation


Xperf– Windows performance tool kit https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/test/wpt/


CPU-z -See the effect of CPU power saving and see the immediate relief that comes from changing your power saving mode https://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html


Denny Cherry and Associates Github– Misc. collection of scripts https://github.com/DC-AC


Grafana– Open Source tool to graphically showcase your SQL Server performance metrics no matter where they are stored https://grafana.com/grafana/dashboards

3rd Party Tools


SentryOne Plan Explorer (FREE)– Enhanced way to review execution plans https://www.sentryone.com/plan-explorer


SentryOne SQL Sentry https://www.sentryone.com/products/sentryone-platform/sql-sentry/sql-server-performance-monitoring


Idera Diagnostic Manager https://www.idera.com/productssolutions/sqlserver/sqldiagnosticmanager


Redgate SQL Monitorhttps://www.red-gate.com/products/dba/sql-monitor/


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